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Area students recognized for essays

— The Richard Jacobs VFW Post 4902, based in Cottonwood, recently announced the 2016 student education award winners. The Voice of Democracy competition is open to students in grades nine through 12 and participants give a three- to five-minute.

The theme this year was “My Responsibility to America.”  Awards were presented Saturday, Nov. 12, during a VFW banquet.

The first-place winner is a home-schooled junior, Madison Rehder, daughter of Joe and Charlene Rehder. Second place went to Prairie High School senior, Faith Uhlenkott, daughter of Ryan and Heather Uhlenkott. Rounding out the top three is Summit Academy senior, Allycia Sonnen, daughter of Allen and Michelle Sonnen. 

The Patriot’s Pen is a 300- to 400-word essay competition, written by sixth-, seventh-, and eight-grade students. The theme for the essay was, “The America I Believe in.”

First-place winner is Prairie Elementary School (PES) seventh-grade student Evan Schwartz, son of Jared and Annmarie Schwartz. The second-place award winner is PES eighth-grade student, Kerri Villamor, daughter of Dwayne and Kristina Villamor. The final award winner is PES seventh-grade student, Steven (Zach) Rambo, son of Jason and Megan Rambo.

“Thank you to the parents, teachers and students for the overwhelming turnout this year,” said Joe Riener, post commander. “These awards are key criteria for our local VFW post’s All-State standing and I am proud to have the support of such a great community.”

Thia VanHouten and Charlene Hunter prescreened more than 60 Patriot’s Pen essays. Marilyn Lerandeau, Colleen Wilson and Marge Arnzen judged the competition, which was held at the Cottonwood Community Library. 


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